One of the most effective ways to drive traffic to your website is through online advertising. It sounds simplistic, but it’s true. However, determining how to reach the right audience and convincing them to visit your site is where it can get tricky and somewhat overwhelming. Paid search, social networks, display, video, mobile – the list goes on, and it continually changes. Just when you get comfortable with a plan, a new technology or platform arrives on the scene. Fortunately, there are a few basics we can count on (at least for now). For this discussion, we’ll focus on ad networks and video ads.
Ad Networks are great for reaching a targeted audience with banner ads over a large list of websites with a single buy, as opposed to ads on individual sites. The main advantages are:
Reach – An ad network containing hundreds of websites helps extend your reach beyond the major portals and premium sites. This aggregate of sites, known as the long tail, delivers reach to quality websites, usually at a much lower price than premium portals.
Targeting - Because of the huge number of websites available, the ad network brings massive amounts of user data that can be used for multiple targeting options: behavioral, contextual, geographic, retargeting and more. In other words you can minimize waste by reaching a precisely defined audience that is more likely to buy your product.
Optimization – Buying through an ad network allows you to optimize the campaign and apply the same parameters for impression goals, frequency capping and more. A cohesive buy gives you greater control and should perform better.
Online Video ads continue to evolve as a viable advertising option. Video usage has exploded on the web and continues to grow rapidly. According to Comscore, in December 2011, 182 million users in the U.S. watched an average of 23.2 hours of video per viewer.
Like ad networks, video ads offer numerous targeting options that allow you to precisely reach your target. However, video ads should be more than just running your TV spot on the web. Doing this falls short of reaching the full potential of online video. Effective video ads should feature interactivity that allows the advertiser to truly engage the viewer. For example, overlays embedded into the video could contain links to a Facebook page or a special-offer page that is tailored to the customer. The objective is to create an interactive experience for the viewer.
Video ads and ad networks can be highly effective traffic drivers to your website. They are just a couple of the myriad of options that can be used. As with any ad program it is important to align the media tactics with your specific website goals.
Submitted by Stephanie on February 14, 2011 - 6:54pm
If you read my last post, you know I'm a major YouTube junkie. The so-called "amateurs" who produce YouTube content are so talented, I'm starting to think traditional TV is going the way of the cassette tape. And I've just been waiting for an excuse to write about my favorite 'Tube channels. So happy Valentine's Day!
How It Should Have Ended produces short animated parodies of how new and classic movies should have ended.
Improv Everywhere plays elaborate pranks on the unsuspecting public – but pranks that make people happy instead of angry.
ItsJustSomeRandomGuy started out doing Mac/PC commercial spoofs using Marvel and DC comic book action figures. Pretty nerdy, right? But well written and totally hilarious. This sample video is the fourth installment in the Ironman vs. Batman series.
Hank and John Green are brothers living in different states, who decided to communicate with each other via vlog (video blog). Since 2007, they've amassed a huge fan base (known as the Nerdfighters), with more subscribers than Oprah. John and Hank always have something interesting to say; either informative, though-provoking, funny, or all three.
Ed Stockham, aka SmilingLimpet, is a little-known animator-videographer guy. This particular video is so charming I just want to hug my computer every time I see it.
These guys take vlogging to a whole new level. It was super hard to choose a sample video here, but I finally had to pick this one over Ultimate Caption Fail.
He's really just a guy in a room with a camera. And sometimes a ukelele. But perhaps the simplicity of his videos is what allows his cleverness to shine through.
Submitted by Stephanie on January 5, 2011 - 1:41pm
Have you been Rick-rolled? Were you duped by LonelyGirl15?
Ever clicked on a link in the doobly-doo? Been in Nerdfighter like with someone? Made a “Free Hugs” sign?
If you answered “huh?” to any of these questions, you don’t
know YouTube. There’s an entire online community ready to be tapped by savvy
marketers. Ford knows about it. Old Spice knows about it. Netflix and HP know
about it. Here’s your crash course.
It’s called vlogging. Regular people, sitting in their
bedrooms, talking to their cameras. Becoming celebrities. Some vloggers are
successful enough to make a living vlogging – some have well over one million
subscribers. Their fans are a force to be reckoned with.
Example #1: The Project for Awesome
Started in 2007 by Hank and John Green, co-producers of the
YouTube channel Vlogbrothers, the charity event works like this: on
December 17, upload a video about your favorite charity. Include “P4A” in the
title. Then, rate and comment on other P4A videos like crazy (in effect, spam
them) thus pushing them to the front page of YouTube. (By the way, good
YouTubers only spam for charity.) Vloggers organize auctions and
raffles to raise money – offering prizes significant to their personal fan base.
In 2010, the fourth year of P4A, YouTube itself got involved
– you might have seen the logo change on December 17-18 – and featured 40 P4A
videos on the front page. Co-creator Hank Green said: “We went from having to
use every trick in the book to get a few more thousand views on YouTube, to
YouTube literally banging down our door to get involved.”
Ford saw the power of social media and harnessed it big-time
to introduce the new Ford Fiesta. In 2009, Ford gave brand-new Fiestas to
select vlogging celebrities, in exchange for which the vloggers made videos
about the car. Vloggers retained creative control. Scary, right? But a huge
7,000,000 views on YouTube
4,000,000 mentions on Twitter
130,000 consumers clicked through to Ford’s
Every day it seems like there is a new technology or service I hear about. Today I had the opportunity to test out something I really think will be "What's Next." I'd like to introduce you to RockMelt. RockMelt is a new, social web browser.
Most people don't know what a web browser is. A web browser is simply the program (Firefox, Internet Explorer, Chrome or Safari) that you use to access the web. RockMelt is a new web browser.
What should you care? In today's social media-drenched world, RockMelt adds a social layer to the browser. It looks, acts and feels like a browser, but makes it easier to stay in touch with friends, share information, read blogs and search (some of the most common uses of the internet today).
One of the first things you'll notice are the two sidebars. One is used to see your friends online, the other to keep track of your commonly visited websites. Internet pros talk a lot about RSS feeds, but most internet users have no idea what it is (or what it stands for). RockMelt makes it easy to add your favorite sites and places an unread count next to the site's icon.
RockMelt is an incredible jump forward in web browsing, but I'm personally excited about future uses of this browser. Since Facebook is integrated, it will be able to tell you what sites your friend like the most and show friends' reviews, all without the websites having to update any code.
Is this the future of browsing? I think it is an important step forward. 20 bucks says Apple or Google will buy this startup within the next six months.
Target continues to be one of the most consistent brands in advertising, the two ads posted above are no exception.
Whenever I see an ad, I always ponder, "What was their assignment? What did the client want them to do?" I can only imagine these ads were a result of the client wanting to show customers interacting with products in a Target store (a logical request). However, these two ads are big departure from the color-coordinated ads featuring products.
These new ads feel like Target, especially due to the superb execution and copy writing. That is advertising that hits the bullseye.
Happy Memorial Day weekend! While you're sitting around the pool this weekend, barbecuing with friends and drinking beer, wouldn't you like to treat your guests to an interesting rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner? Here are five solid choices, guaranteed to spark your guests' interest.
1) Jose Feliciano
Here's a fun trivia question: Who was the first artist to ever perform a non-traditional version of the national anthem on TV? I'll bet you didn't guess Puerto-Rican Jose Feliciano. You hear Jose Feliciano every Christmas singing "Feliz Navidad," but in 1966 he sang the national anthem for game 5 of the Cardinals/Tigers World Series. It was met with a huge controversy. Furious viewers were calling in to protest the perversion of the national anthem, it was even reported that veterans threw shoes at their TVs. Radio stations stopped playing Feliciano's songs for three years, but to this day Feliciano considers it an honor to have opened the door for reinterpretations of the song. This heart-felt, latin-jazz rendition is my #1.
2) Marvin Gaye
I know nothing else about the 1983 NBA All-Star game except that Marving Gaye made sweet, sweet love to the national anthem. His effortlessly smooth rendition is potent enough to get my number 2 spot.
Arguably the most iconic moment from all of Woodstock was Hendrix's rendition of The Star-Spangled Banner. His version, like Feliciano's, was controversial. Hendrix later said in an interview that he did not think his version was unorthodox, he only thought it was beautiful. Unfortunately, Jimi Hendrix and Marvin Gaye would die one year after their memorable performances.
4) Whitney Houston
Before the crack and before she married Bobby Brown, Whitney Houston really was The Voice. VH1 called her version of the national anthem before the 1991 Superbowl the 12th greatest moment in television history.
5) Mormom Tabernacle Choir
Less than six months after the Sept. 11 attack on the World Trade Center, the US hosted the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, Utah. During the opening ceremony, the flag that flew at Ground Zero was carried out by police officers, firefighters and olympic athletes as the National Anthem played. It was an endearing moment, where we stood together on the world's largest stage.
Unfortunately, this is a tough video to track down. All I've found is a low-quality video on YouTube that won't even let me embed it here. But if you wish, you can see it here.
That's my top five. If you have any arguments or additions, feel free to add them in the comments section.
We were fortunate enough to be able to record in the AMAZING studio B at Studios 121. The people over there have a great setup, and they helped us out a ton. Will Raymond, the Senior Production Services Manager, even jumped in front of the green screen to help us set up the shot. After helping us out with a quick audio test, Will quickly regretted stepping in front of the camera. I can't imagine why.
To say thank you, I put together this little video of our friend Will that shows how we at the agency feel.
Check out Studios 121. They have impressive production stages and audio suites, as well as some of the most professional and helpful staff around.
The Saudi Royal Family has commissioned
an architecture firm to redesign the city of Mecca, Islam's holiest of
Many deaths have occured over the years due to the massive overcrowding. This redesign attempts to solve that terrible problem, while honoring the ancient architecture of Mecca.
Take a few moments and watch the video. It is very well done, and I think the architects propose a fantastic solution for the redesign of Mecca. Be sure and watch the entire video to see the concept come to life at the end.
Do you think it's a good solution? I'd love to hear your thoughts.
Good video production is all about doing the little things right. It's about the details. Every frame is poured over to ensure the timing and flow is absolutely in sync. If even one dynamic is skewed, it can make the video seem off or incorrect.
Recently, MixMaster Mac and I collaborated to make the showcase video that is displayed in the Our Work section of the site. Video production, like anything worthwhile, takes time.
For the showcase video, MixMaster Mac and I worked countless hours creating the music for the site. The importance of music selection in video production cannot be overstated. It sets the mood and feel for the entire video and establishes a connection with the viewer.
To illustrate my point on the subtleties of video production, I have made a few minor changes to the showreel at the top of this post. See if you can catch the tweaks I made and see if you notice a different feel to the video.